How to evaluate your marketing in 2018

With 2018’s fresh new start upon us, we’ve reached that time where we review what we did in 2017 and look at what we plan to do in 2018.

Here at Applied, we’ve been doing the same and thought we’d take a look at some of the ways in which you can analyse and evaluate the impact of your digital marketing.

Whether you're wanting to find out how to monitor referrals to your site or how to gain more engagement on social media, we’ll be providing you with insights on some great tools and platforms to help you with your marketing in 2018.


Google analytics tracks the users of your website traffic, and you can use this data to find out how effective your marketing has been at driving visitors.

One of the most important, yet undervalued stats that Google Analytics reports on is referral traffic.

Referral traffic refers to traffic from external sources, such as business directories or other websites that link back to you. Often, businesses have to pay for these links, particularly industry directories, which means it’s important to monitor how effective they are at driving traffic.

Looking at, and reviewing each referral to see how they’re performing can help you understand what's working and what's not. From there you can make decisions as to what budget is allocated for the following year.


Rankings in search engines fluctuate regularly, which often results in wasted energy when checking how you rank day by day. We expect that anyone who’s aware of rankings will be monitoring them in some form, usually at specific intervals (such as when creating a monthly report).

Although monthly reports will provide some clarity on how your Search campaign is performing, taking the time to monitor the change in keyword and landing-page performance over a full year can provide some great insight. For example, you might notice that a particular landing page has steadily decreased in visits - which gives you the perfect opportunity to don your hat & pipe, and investigate what’s happened.

Seeing that organic traffic has fluctuated is only part of the battle. Many businesses know that their visits are going down, but aren’t sure why - or specifically, how people are finding their website in the first place.

The most obvious tool to use is Google Search Console. It allows you to monitor where your site is showing in Google’s search results, returning a ‘queries’ report that shows what people typed into the Google search box to find your business.

Plus, it gives you an understanding of how Google looks at your site from a more technical perspective - which is useful even if you don’t know how to interpret it yet!

Website Performance

Site speed is a core aspect of ranking well, and providing the best user experience possible. Google has placed ever-increasing emphasis on the speed of websites, and even introduced their own stripped-back version of websites designed specifically to load fast on mobile devices : called AMP (accelerated mobile pages).

You can use Google’s own Pagespeed Insights test to discover how well your page performs, or you can use another industry standard, Pingdom Tools, which gives your page a grade based on its speed and a comparison against the pages it tests against every day.

All of this might sound a bit technical, so to hammer the point home, your site speed massively effects user experience. Longer loading pages often have higher bounce rates and shorter session times with key findings show that 53% of visits to mobile sites were abandoned after 3 seconds.

Now, you might be thinking ‘how would that actually affect me?’ We found a real world example of tests carried out by Amazon to show just what effects slow site speed could have on your business and its revenue.

Their test showed that they would lose $1.6 billion every year if they slowed down by just one second. Obviously the size of Amazon highlights how important speed is, which is also backed up by Walmart’s study into online conversions, where conversion rate increased by 2% for every second of improvement on-site.

This just shows how important site speed is and the knock on effect slow site speed can have on both new customers and revenue.

Email marketing

Email marketing can be an effective way to increase traffic, raise brand awareness and increase conversions. Within these emails you can provide your customers with exclusive discounts and business or product updates - the list goes on.

Within a user's mailbox, each email only gets a full attention for a fraction of a second. So creating emails that, feature eye catching designs, unique content and deliver main messages will appeal to your target audience.

As with your website’s analytics, it’s worth looking back at your email campaigns and seeing how open and click rates have changed as the year progressed. Is it time your design was updated? Do you need a new approach to subject lines? Looking back over the year will provide some insight.

Social media

Social media is now a part of our daily lives and is continuing to expand, with Facebook, Linked, YouTube and Instagram being the social media platforms that businesses value the most.

Having accounts on social media allows you to connect with users, share new information and promote your business. One of your marketing goals may be to increase your businesses social media presence and following and this can be done through:

  • Using hashtags
  • Sharing content posted by other users 
  • Following and connecting with other users 
  • Posting relevant content 
  • Engaging with other users
  • Reaching out to influencers

However, it's better to do your research and plan what high quality content you want to post on social than creating a spam of irrelevant mid range posts.

With 19 years experience in digital marketing, we’ve seen many trends come and go. For help implementing the latest trends that will make an impact on your business. Contact our MD, Steve Sykes or give us a call on 01484 30 20 10.

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